by Sterling Brown
Ma Rainey Summary
The main speaker of the poem starts off describing people traveling from the countryside to see blues singer Ma Rainey perform in the voice of those very folks. In his bluesy language, the speaker then describes the rowdy audience as the show starts. After that, the speaker asks an audience member why he likes Ma Rainey and her music. The audience member quotes some lyrics and describes the affect it has on the crowd, which is pretty powerful, to say the least. In the end the speaker feels like he shares the experience with the other audience members and Ma Rainey, too.